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Be BOLD in your requests to God
Are you bold when you make requests to God? Is being bold with God -- a good thing, or a bad thing? Remember our Father is all powerful, all knowing and loves to bless his children. But sometimes I wonder if we’re too “small” in our thinking? God enjoys going above and beyond anything we can hope for and ask for. So many verses tell us that. He won’t give us a rock if we ask for bread. He loves pouring out his holy spirit.
So let’s be bold when we ask Father for some blessings. For example, in terms of healing, sure – we can pray God guide the surgeon or speed up the healing. But why not be bolder? Why not ask, “Father, when they examine my cancer tumor again before surgery, please – in Jesus’ mighty name, command the entire cancer to just be gone, totally healed. Leave them wondering what happened, but I’ll explain it to them to your glory, dear Father. And I thank you right now, in advance! May your will be done, Father, and I submit to your will.” (I don’t have cancer right now, but I have been healed of cancer twice.)
Or, if you’re struggling with a chronic sin and temptation, be bold: “Yeshua, my king and my Savior, I’m struggling with coveting [or whatever your issues are]. I hate it when I do. I know you want us to be content with whatsoever we have and not to covet anything out there. Yeshua, I’m repenting of this and I’m opening the door of my heart to you and I invite you to come into my life. BE my life, Lord. Please Lord, come live in me – obediently as you did 2000 years ago. Please BE my life, BE my thoughts and deeds… I want to say victoriously with Paul, that I no longer live, but the life I live is really Christ living in me, as Paul says in Gal. 2:20. Please show me how to blast this covetousness out of my heart and soul. I hate coveting, Lord, and please let me always be pleasing you. Thank you, Master.”
If you’re struggling with anything, you can ask God through Christ to create and live a new life in you, the very life of Jesus Christ, in complete victory over any sin. This applies to lacking God’s love in your life, asking for help in living your life in JOY and peace, no matter what. It can apply to impatience, lust, porn, being too loose on sabbath observance, alcoholism, gluttony, being unkind and unloving – and the thousands of other sins people struggle with.
Perhaps you struggle with forgiving someone from your heart. Talk to God humbly – but boldly – that you’re tired of this struggle and want to claim the victory. You realize if we don’t forgive others who have sinned against us, neither will Father forgive us of our sins against him (Matthew 6:12, 14 and many others). So this could be a very serious problem! Check out my sermon on it, coming out in March 2022.
Without God’s forgiveness, we have no future. On your knees, declare your problem with this, and how bitter and hurt you feel over someone’s sin against you. Confess how hard it is for you to feel forgiveness and love for that person. Ask God’s forgiveness, ask God to change your heart to be like HIS. And then when you have forgiven, declare to God that you have forgiven this person whom you once claimed to surely be “unforgivable”. Or, if you haven’t and just can’t seem to be able to forgive him/her, boldly again ask Yeshua to come live in you and share with you his gentle and forgiving spirit.
I remember doing that some time ago. Someone was a terrible thorn in my side, had gossiped badly about me and it was hard for me to like her or care about her. But when I had finally totally forgiven her while praying, the phone rang as I was ending my prayer. I can’t go into details, but it was about this very issue I had been praying about and God turned around my bitterness to a heart of compassion, forgiveness and asking God to bless her. But it wasn’t easy for me. I had to ask Yeshua to rule in my heart. It took a while.
If you need financial help, remember we are to be content Paul says – if we have food and clothing (1 Timothy 6:8)! But if you truly need a financial blessing, ask boldly – and declare you intend to share it with the needy as well. Have you heard of the Prayer of Jabez? Be bold, ask God to bless your work, your employment, your income, and thank him in advance, as if you have already received it – and then be sure to share it with others.
Jabez had caused his mother much pain in childbirth, so she named him Jabez – “He will cause pain.” Imagine that. You could feel cursed! But note what Jabez did and prayed. This is called “the prayer of Jabez”. It’s a great model for us and God granted his request.
1 Chronicles 4:9-10 -- Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, "Because I bore him in pain." 10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, "Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!" So God granted him what he requested.
Read the scripture above several times. I call it a very bold prayer. Are we limiting what the living God would do in our lives – if we would but ask, and ask boldly? Do we fall into the category of “you have not, for you ask not” (James 4:2b). So ask! And be sure to ask in a way that is not just selfish, as James tells us. Be sure to ask it be in God’s will.
Look how bold Jabez’ prayer was! And God granted him what he requested! God does not change. He wants to grant you powerful answers too
Matthew 7:7-8 --"ASK, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
Even in the Lord’s Prayer – “give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Deliver us from evil (or the evil one)…” Pretty bold.
There’s an old, lesser known story in the Scriptures about Elisha and one of the kings, which has intrigued me for years. Elisha was old and about to die. Joash, one of the righteous kings of the northern ten tribes of Israel, had come to pay his last respects apparently. Elisha asked King Joash to shoot an arrow out of an east window, and then explained that arrow symbolized victory over Syria at a future battle. Now let’s read what happened.
2 Kings 13:14-19
Elisha had become sick with the illness of which he would die. Then Joash the king of Israel came down to him, and wept over his face, and said, "O my father, my father, the chariots of Israel and their horsemen!"
15 And Elisha said to him, "Take a bow and some arrows." So he took himself a bow and some arrows. 16 Then he said to the king of Israel, "Put your hand on the bow." So he put his hand on it, and Elisha put his hands on the king's hands. 17 And he said, "Open the east window"; and he opened it. Then Elisha said, "Shoot"; and he shot. And he said, "The arrow of the Lord's deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria; for you must strike the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them."
[So Elisha had explained what the arrow symbolized.]
18 Then he [Elisha] said, "Take the arrows"; so he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, "Strike the ground"; so he struck three times and stopped. 19 And the man of God was angry with him, and said, "You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you had destroyed it! But now you will strike Syria only three times."
We can’t get into Joash’s head and see what he was thinking. Perhaps he didn’t understand what his action was depicting. Perhaps he lacked faith and wondered how he could crush Syria. We just don’t know. We do know this: instead of vanquishing Syria once and for all, he limited himself to three victories.
The point of this blog is simple: when Almighty God opens a door for us, let’s not be timid or small-minded in our thinking. Let’s not limit our true God who knows no limits. We can all fall into that trap at various times of our lives. We are His children, who are part of His HOUSE. My children are bold about claiming what I have, what I offer. So should we be.
Are we limiting the one Living God and what He wants to do in us, through us, with us? Remember even Yeshua could do virtually no mighty work in Nazareth, his home town, because of their unbelief (Mark 6:4-6). God works through faith, trust and belief. He often holds Himself back if we don’t believe mightily in His power (see Hebrews 4:2).
When you ask for something from Yahweh – especially when it’s for someone else and your request is being totally selfless – do we ask in a small way? For example:
- If we’re asking Father to open up a job for an unemployed brother or sister, do we just ask for a job, or do we ask for a fabulous career job with wonderful benefits and a great group of people to work with?
- If we’re asking God our Healer to deliver someone from the bonds of illness, are we just asking for that specific condition? Do we ask boldly, or fall back to “whatever your will is”—and keep ourselves from a bold request? Remember when Jesus spoke those words “Thy will be done” in Gethsemane, He knew the divine purpose and will was that He be the sacrifice for all sin. Why not ask Father to heal anything else that isn’t quite right in that person’s body, to imbue him/her with untiring energy, a bright spirit and powerful health that could bring glory to our Father? Be bold, ask big.
I’m sure you can think of many more examples. Don’t limit God. He is limitless. Evaluate where you ARE limiting God.
Go back and read the account of how bold Abraham’s servant’s prayer was when he was tasked to find a bride for Isaac. It’s a great example for us. Read Genesis 24:10-28.
In Psalm 78:12-16, we read of some of the most astounding miracles ever seen by mankind, such as the waters of the Red Sea standing in a heap on either side, providing water from a split rock, providing shade and light in the pillar overhead. But Israel still questioned Almighty God’s ability to provide, and this angered God. In Ps. 78:17-20, they got into the “yeah, buts”. “Yeah, he parted the Red Sea, but can He provide food for this many people?”. This was limiting the Eternal God. You can read all about it as you continue in Ps. 17:21-32.
It came down to limiting God, not having faith in His power or in His desire to use His power in our behalf. Do we ever see a miracle and then go into the “yeah buts”? We know He can work wonders and did do miracles here and there, but then doubt, limit and wonder if Our God would intervene in the same way for us? Doubting and limiting God go hand in hand.
Psalm 78:40-42 – “How often they provoked Him in the wilderness and grieved Him in the desert! 41 Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. 42 They did not remember His power: The day when He redeemed them from the enemy.”
That’s what I mean by limiting God.
When we have our open window of opportunity as King Joash had, don’t just strike the earth three times. Let’s not limit our request to three arrows or three strikes. Let’s use all our arrows. Let’s think large. Let’s ask for big things. Believe Father really does want to do beyond what you can even imagine or conceive. Yes, even for you and me.
Can you imagine what God’s children could be involved in, if all of us would learn not to limit God – and watch Him work powerfully, to HIS glory? Ponder your prayer requests. Are they bold, and big – or timid and just going through the motions? Beware we’re not limiting our Maker, who knows no limits!
Why not even declare out loud in prayer – “Father, blast through my petty small-mindedness. Work your glory in your children’s lives – to your glory. Help me think big, and not limit you, and accept whatever you send as well. Thank you so much.”
We should be bold to God in our prayers. We can inculcate the character of Jabez. His prayer is a model prayer for us.